Now that the Twins have navigated through the winter and made additions to their rotation we can look back at the decision on Scott Baker.
While other pitchers like Joe Saunders chose other teams in spite of the Twins interest, Baker was the one pitcher the Twins could have guaranteed signing. They simply needed to pick up his option at 9.25 million. If he is healthy this year, he will achieve the performance bonus and earn 7+ million with the Cubs. The Twins would have overpayed by 2 million, but it is clear now that they were going to have to overpay someone. Had they offered the 9 million to Saunders, he may have taken it. He could have been a Twin for a year. I would rather have had Baker. It seems like there was a better chance that Baker would be open to an extension and Saunders a one year rental.
I think Baker will be healthy and pitching well by the end of May. I would be much more confident in their rotation this year if Baker were in camp.
I would have liked to see Scotty succeed here. I just never really saw it happening.
I would stand by the decision not to pick up that option. No way they can guarantee that kind of money coming off of TJ.
and John... Instead of giving the money to Baker, haven't they simply put it in their pocket? The 9 million didn't go anywhere else.
I didn't get any of that $9MM.
I'll just weigh in as another that does not see $9.25 million as a good idea for Baker this year.
I wish him all the best and expect he'll do OK, but that is too much to guarentee to a guy with his injury history.
I think the market has changed. I think Parker foreshadowed it in his article about the cost of relief pitching. I don't think the Twins anticipated the change. If they had, they may have preferred a Baker over the other guys.
Now they have 9 million in their pocket. I would rather have Baker. I said in October and I say it now. If at the all star break he isn't pitching, I will come back and give the Twins credit for their good decision.
It's crazy to criticize the Twins for not picking up the option. Could they have tried harder to sign him after declining? Perhaps. But at the time it seemed reasonable not to jump the gun given the other options available. There are plenty of things to criticize about the pitching decisions this winter, but Baker is not at the top of the list.